Private sectors build partnerships for community resilience

Jul 13, 2017

Private sector organisations gathered at the recent Climate Action Pacific Partnership Event to discuss the importance of partnering with businesses to build community resilience, and better prepare for and respond to disasters. 

“Disasters are getting more frequent and intense, and we need innovative approaches to reduce risks and better manage our response to them,” said Morika Hunter, Chair of the Fiji Business Disaster Resilience Council (FBDRC). 

“Given their extensive resources and capacity, and their reach to communities, sustainable partnerships with and between the private sector must be part of this picture”.

The FBDRC, which is a Council of the Fiji Commerce and Employers Federation, is the national private sector body responsible for coordinating businesses to improve their own and community resilience, and to support government led disaster preparedness and response activities. 

A year since its inception, the FBDRC have formed partnerships with government, United Nations agencies and non-government organisations to jointly improve services to communities. This has included formalising partnerships with the Fiji National Disaster Management Office to provide more coordinated support to communities after a disaster. The Council includes businesses ranging from sectors including telecommunications, finance and banking, logistics, hardware, and tourism. 

Based on the success of the FBDRC, the Pacific Islands Private Sector Organisation (PIPSO) will launch a Pacific Regional Business Resilience Council at the end of this month. 

“It is critical that the private sector make risk informed decisions and investments that limit their own losses from disasters and climate change, such as carefully selecting the locations of their operations. This will ensure that they can get back up and running faster after events. This will improve recovery of the economy, and allow businesses to support government and communities to better respond,” said Mereia Volavola, Chief Executive Officer of PIPSO. 

“This is why PIPSO is investing in supporting business of all sizes to develop business continuity plans and to look at the risks of their operations,” Volavola added. 

Membership of the Regional Council will be open to all national private sector organisations who are members of PIPSO, and will provide tools, resources and peer-to-peer learning and exchanges between businesses and councils from Pacific countries. 

The Climate Action Pacific Partnership Event took place on Tuesday, 4 July 2017.

The FBDRC and the PIPSO Business Resilience Network are joint initiatives of the Australian Government funded United Nations Development Programme's (UNDP) Pacific Risk Resilience Programme (PRRP) and the Connecting Business initiative (CBi). CBi is a demand driven multi-stakeholder initiative transforming the way the private sector engages before, during and after crises. Operational and technical support is provided by UNDP and United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs while United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction is providing technical advice on disaster risk reduction.